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To prepare a report taken from the point of view that I work for a management consultancy. The report will explain how I would go about developing the customer care programme at British Airways, by using a customer care plan, applying the relevant concepts, theories and models showing how this plan will be implemented.
British Airways are a world-wide air cargo company, they are the largest in Britain and 5th largest in the world. Being such a large corporation it is essential that they have an excellent customer care package in operation so that they can retain their customers. The following will propose to British Airways the changes they need to make to carry on their current rein over the transport market.
Superior customer service is always connected to the market leaders, competition within and across the market sectors will raise the stakes in providing a superior service. British Airways are starting to linger behind with an old care plan that needs immediate repair and up date.
To create the plan I used the following model divised by Aaker, da. It was designed to help businesses set and reach realistic objectives and achieve a desired competitive position within a certain time. This will help to reduce errors and put the company in a situation where they can anticipate change, respond to it and even create change to its own advantage.
A Coherent set of actions aimed at gaining a sustainable advantage over competition, improving position vis–vis customers.
For this section of the analysis I used the above quote and a swot analysis to aid me in finding the best customer care strategies. The SWOT analysis can be found below:
Before it is decided on the stratergies to consider. I reviewed customer view points and complaints picked one out to help express exactly what the customers think is wrong. This extract is taken from the British Airways archives:
We got on the British Airways flight 1502 to Manchester from New York at about 5:30
PM, rolled out to the runway,sat for 6 hours because of thunderstorms in the area, and (as they later told us) because the pilot had gone out to the wrong runway. We then sat at the terminal for another 2 hours supposedly getting fuel and then suddenly they announced the flight was cancelled. ARRRRGGHH!!!! It was 2 AM by this time. We got our bags and the airline packed us all on busses ostensibly to take us to hotels. When we got there (another 1.5 hours later) , we discovered another bus had already got there and taken all the available rooms. It was now 4 AM The agent had the bus driver take us to a 24 hour restaurant (we’d had no food since noon the previous day) and then back to the airport to catch an 8:30 AM flight to London. We then had to take a 4 hour bus ride after reaching London to get to Manchester connecting flights to Manchester were full! A 12 hour trip took us more than 36 hours to complete. I’m still trying to get a response from British Airways customer service; their customer service phone line is a recording that gets to nowhere. Lesson learned? Stay the hell away from British Airways – they have no clue as to customer service.
The technical factors with this complaint take it out of service staff hands. However, it is Customer care to do everything they possibly can in this kind of situation to keep the customer happy, I have pulled from here the key points of complaint which have also been reflected in the original analysis.
The same problems emerge from this complaint as the negative elements we discovered from the planning process and SWOT analysis.
Each Customer Care stratergy needs to be implemented as soon as possible to complete the programme and to avoid further loss of customers and bad brand image. To put the programme in to practise, I suggest the following guide for British Airways:
I conclude that if British Airways takes on board the Customer Care programme I have divised, they will see a major improvement in complaint levels, and in customers returning to good service. Although they do have a care programme in place it is not sufficient. John Fowler, European Strategic Planning Manager for advertising agency Mcmann-Erickson said:
Major Service brands must consistently re-invent their own concept of service to develop competitive protection and maintain the level and quality of their reputation.
This is the advice I pass to British Airways. Customer care is a vital role in helping organisations achieve tangible service improvements and reaching their objectives and goals. Taking on this new plan is the only realistic way to stay at the top of this market.
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